Enigmatic Structural Protein Spongin

  • Hermann Ehrlich
Part of the Biologically-Inspired Systems book series (BISY, volume 13)


In the orders Dendroceratida, Verongida and Dictyoceratida, the characteristic for most Demospongiae siliceous skeleton is replaced by proteinaceous, fibrous like spongin skeleton. These spongin fibers can be anastomosed in order to create a network which provides support for skeleton of the sponge’s cell tissues. This network represents sets of diverse unconnected, mostly dendritic three dimensional structures. From chemical point of view, spongin remains to be an enigmatic proteinaceous biomaterial than contains halogenated residues and cannot be sequences till now. Consequently it was defined previously as pseudoceratin, euceratin, horny or sclerotized protein, iodospongin, silk-, or gelatin-like protein, etc. State-of the art concerning diversity, biological functions, and material features of spongin are described and discussed in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Ehrlich
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Electronic and Sensor MaterialsTU Bergakademie FreibergFreibergGermany

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